January 18, 2006
KITZBUEHEL, Austria (AP)—Organizers canceled a men’s World Cup downhill training session Wednesday on the Hahnenkamm course due to heavy snow.
About 20 inches of snowfall blanketed the treacherous slope by early morning, and incessant snow, fog and gusty winds were forecast for the rest of the day—and likely into Thursday.
Although the opening training run went on unhindered Tuesday, race stewards were scrambling to maintain the course to prevent another possible cancellation or shortening of the track by the weekend.
Last year, the downhill and combined event were scrapped due to poor conditions in Kitzbuehel, while a super-G was rescheduled from Friday to Monday.
International Ski Federation rules stipulate that at least one training run must be held for the downhill to be staged.
If Thursday’s final training is also wiped out, the race order will be determined by the World Cup’s official ranking system. Conditions are expected to improve for Friday’s super-G. The downhill is scheduled on Saturday, followed by the slalom a day later.
Reigning Olympic champion Fritz Strobl posted the fastest time in Tuesday’s practice run, covering the classic Streif slope in 1 minute, 56.35 seconds.
The World Cup downhill leader was followed by fellow Austrian Michael Walchhofer in second, 1.55 behind, while Frenchman Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin placed third, 1.78 seconds off the pace.
Daron Rahlves, who became the first American to win the downhill in Kitzbuehel in 2003, was fourth.
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